We hope this selection of testimonials will give you a flavour of what we achieve

“My Son Sean absolutely loves going to Sugarloaf to ride. He is a different young man when he rides a horse. It brings a lump to my throat to see him enjoying this activity.””

“All staff are warm, friendly and very helpful. They treat the riders fantastically with guidance, patience and understanding.”

Riders Mother (2016)


“All three of my children have ridden with Sugarloaf.  They have a vast range of disabilities ranging from physical to mental. The staff are friendly and get to know their individual needs and abilities.  Horse riding has greatly helped in both my children’s physical and mental needs.”

“My daughter has been able to represent Sugarloaf in a RDA Competition, where she came fourth.  They have been able to undertake their grading’s, according to their abilities.  The staff organise special days for the children, stable hand day.  Where the children can do a vast array of stable duties which they all love.  My children enjoy their time riding and talking to the members of staff and getting to know the horses.”

Susan Weddell

Mother or Jack, Aiden and Lydia

Hi all helpers

Just to say thank you for the help in getting my wife back to good health after she come out of Mental hospital some years ago with so many fears and phobias I would have never believed riding a horse could help people to get back to good health and help them to deal with the stress of daily life it is a bond that they seem to set up with some one that dos not ask them to do no more then try their best on the day and no judgment passed on them if it was not perfect on the day , and all the helpers are there to see that it is the best time for the people taken part in the in the riding to help them get the best therapy needed for the need to get to better heath . The NHS should try this treatment on people . Thank you all for you helping  with my wife get on the road to full recovery .

Mr Keith Child


“Katrina has been attending sugarloaf for about the last eighteen months. During this time she has developed a number of skills and this has helped her, in her ongoing personal development. In terms of learning the days of the week she has now grasped when Friday is as this is the day she goes horse riding. “

“Without doubt this activity is one of the highlights of her week. Katrina enjoys not only riding but also touching the horses she rides in a session as well as developing a rapport with the staff. She now has her own riding hat and one day would like to have her own horse!”

A rider’s mother


“I am the mother of George who is 8 ½ years old and lives with autism. Autism is a social and communication disorder which covers a broad spectrum.  George has high functioning autism which means he is quite able and can communicate adequately, but struggles to understand social situations. In the summer of  2008 we went on a weekend away to a holiday park with lots of activities for children”

“Having a child with autism can feel quite isolating as they find being with other children they don’t know very unsettling.  We struggled that weekend to find an activity which he would enjoy  but stumbled upon a horse riding lesson.  The smile on his face when he sat on his first horse is a cherished memory. “

“After that happy experience I searched the internet for horse riding lessons suitable for George in Essex or East London. George started riding at Sugar loaf riding for the disabled in September 2008.   He has gained so much in that time it’s hard to describe how important it has been to us as a family.  We feel part of a club that has helped to build my sons self esteem.  He’s been able to participate in a group activity but with lots of personal space (this is particularly important for a person with autism). “

“He’s learned to trust an animal much larger than himself and to be respectful of that animals needs.  He’s learned how to listen to the leaders instructions. He’s learned how to take turns with other children in the group.  Last year he represented the club in a competition, a very proud occasion for everyone that knows George and his difficulties.”

“Last year we went on a holiday to Wales with the group.  We stayed in an RDA riding centre.  George got to learn so much about horse care it was a real opportunity for him.  It would be wonderful if Sugar loaf could expand, it would give the children the opportunity to learn how to take care of the horses they ride.  “

Jo Dentry

Mother to George and Volunteer



A rider


“Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter makes it so worthwhile”

A Volunteer


“Aaron and Joshua have been riding with Sugarloaf RDA for a number of years. They have been able to excel at an activity they would otherwise be unable to take part in. They have been given the opportunity to go away on holiday with the group in Wales which helped them both grow in confidence and skills. They have also been able to take part in competitions and Aaron is currently the National Champion in his category.”

A Mother

“The students from Beacon Hill have been coming to Sugarloaf for many years. The staff show patience and tolerance and work well with all students whatever their difficulties. The students benefit greatly from their lessons and we see their confidence grow with each week that passes.”

Carol Timms

Beacon Hill School


“I started volunteering with the Sugarloaf Group in February 2007 and have now progressed to being a Group Instructor. I enjoy being part of the group because it is very rewarding to see people with a disability to become much more independent and enjoying themselves. Sometimes we notice only the smallest improvements but families have noticed the bigger improvements that has come about them riding with us eg better motor skills, balance, muscle building and even more confidence in themselves etc.”

“I also volunteer with both mental and physically disabled people within a local college and I am currently doing a course there to help with going further in my volunteering, to reach teaching status. I am able to communicate with deaf and partially deaf people after completing my Level 2 BSL (British Sign Language) course in 2008. “

Carleen Dallas

Instructor, volunteer, mum